THE CATHOLIC PRIEST WHO PROPOUNDED THE BIG BANG THEORY







THE CATHOLIC PRIEST WHO PROPOUNDED THE BIG BANG THEORY

Have you heard of the Big Bang Theory as regards the origin of the universe, a theory that held that the universe came out a big boom that took place over 13 billion years ago? Do you know that the orginator of this theory is a Catholic priest? He was not only a Catholic priest, he was Monsignor George Lamaitre (1894 – 1966). Lamaitre was a mathematician and an astronomer and also a Professor of physics at the Catholic University of Louvain Belgium.

“Building upon astronomer Edwin Hubble’s observations about the expansion of the universe and Albert Einstein’s theory of general relativity, Lemaitre hypothesized that the universe had begun from a dense starting point that he dubbed the “primeval atom” or the “cosmic egg.”
The Big Bang theory, as it came to be known, challenged Einstein’s own view of a static universe. When Lemaitre’s theory was later confirmed by observation, Einstein recanted his view and reportedly declared that Lemaitre’s theory was “the most beautiful and satisfactory explanation of creation to which I have ever listened”.”

As astonishing or revolutionary as Lemaître’s idea was, Lemaître was “not jailed by the Pope like Galileo. He was not excommunicated the way Johannes Keppler was by the Lutheran Church. Quite the opposite. In the early 1950s, Pope Pius XII not only declared that the big bang and the Catholic concept of creation were compatible; he embraced Lemaître’s idea as scientific validation for the existence of God and of Catholicism.”

Fr Angelo Chidi Unegbu

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